AAP AFL

Cotchin’s empathy for Cats’ banned Hawkins

By AAP Newswire

Richmond captain Trent Cotchin says he has empathy for Tom Hawkins after the Geelong forward received a one-match AFL suspension for striking that will rule him out of Friday's preliminary final.

Hawkins was offered a one-game ban for an off-the-ball strike on West Coast defender Will Schofield in Friday's semi-final, with the incident souring his match-winning four-goal performance.

"Yeah I do (have empathy for Hawkins). I mean, the reality is you want everyone playing - whether it's injury, suspension - we want all of our best players playing the game or everyone given an opportunity," Cotchin told reporters on Sunday.

"But it is what it is."

Cotchin faced a nervous wait in 2017 after a bump on GWS's Dylan Shiel in the preliminary final but was found to have no case to answer for the contact, leaving him free to play in that year's decider.

He said waiting for a review of his incident hadn't played on his mind as the Tigers prepared for the grand final - which they won - as he focused on the team rather than his own fate.

"It didn't (play on my mind) really," he said.

"I think I was more so celebrating in the fact that we had made it through to our first grand final in a long time and I was just excited about the opportunity for our club, not so much myself.

"And I think that held me in pretty good stead with my thinking and how I prepared that week anyway."